Best Gold for Prepping and Survival | Coins & Bars

Take your financial preparedness to the next level with gold. Its value has been recognized for millennia and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While you don’t want to trade all of your cash and investments out for gold, getting some of it for investment and survival purposes is a great way to diversify and prepare at the same time. If you are looking to diversify and prepare at the same time, getting some gold for prepping is a good plan.

There are plenty of types of gold bullion to pick from. This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best gold for prepping and the results are in: the overall best, a bar option, and a coin option. If you need to diversify your survival finances, one of our picks will make the most sense.

Disclaimer: We are survivalists, preppers, engineers, MBAs – a lot of things… but nobody on our team is a financial advisor. None of what we discuss below is specific financial advice and shouldn’t be taken as such.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Valcambi CombiBar Gold Bullion

The Best Gold for Prepping

Gold CombiBar

Versatile, Compact, and Well-Known

Snap off exact change even during the apocalypse, or just have unique investment diversification.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

A gold bar machined to be broken into smaller gold chits is the ultimate choice for survival-versatile bullion. Don’t overpay with a $2,000 gold bar- break up your CombiBar instead to get manageable denominations so you can barter, trade, and pay effectively.

Here is how the CombiBar measures up:

  • 0.9999 pure gold
  • 20 breakable 1-gram tabs
  • 0.643 troy ounces
  • Valcambi Swiss Mint
  • 4.1″ W x 2.9″ L x 0.05″ H

With unmatched versatility – it’s easy to see why the Gold CombiBar is the best for preppers.

Perth Mint 1 Ounce Gold Bar

Best Gold Bars

Perth Mint 1oz Gold Bar

Cost Effective, Efficient Storage, and Well-Known

A well-known Western Australia mint with low premiums over spot for bullion bars offers the best choice for gold.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

When you want the best value for your buck, you’re going to want to look into bars. They end up just being a smidge over spot value due to the minting, but it’s worth it if you get a well-recognized mint.

We like the Perth Mint out of Western Australia for gold bars ranging in weights from 1, 5, 10, 100, and 1000 troy ounces. The higher the weight of the bar you get, the better value it is versus the gold spot value. We like the 1 troy ounce bar as it represents roughly $2,000 – a good value for higher value bars to stack safely and efficiently.

Here is how the bar measures up:

  • 0.9999 pure gold
  • 1 troy ounce
  • Perth Mint (Australia)
  • 2″ W x 3.5″ L x 0.25″ H

If you are looking for gold bars to stash for SHTF, Perth Mint 1 Ounce Gold Bars are what you need.

American Eagle Gold Coin

Best Gold Coins

American Eagle Gold Coin

Inexpensive, Good Denomination, and Universally Recognized

Skip the numismatics and get the best value with mass production recognition across the globe.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

The US Mint puts out some of the most recognizable coins in the world, and the Gold Eagle is well known. This helps if you ever need to trade since many people know its approximate value. The one we highlight above is sold with random years since there is not much numismatic value to these modern coins yet. You could opt to go for specific years, but as we point out later it’s not relevant for survival.

As with any coins, you will pay a small premium over the spot value, but they are expected at that value and have good resell value over spot as well. The small coins are easy to store and transport, making them ideal for mobile survival kits or caches.

Here are the full specs:

  • 0.9999 pure gold
  • 1 troy ounce
  • US Mint
  • 1.6″ D

If you are looking for the best gold coins for prepping, get American Eagle Gold Coins.

Everything We Recommend

Valcambi CombiBar Gold Bullion

Gold CombiBar

Snap off exact change even during the apocalypse, or just have unique investment diversification.

Where to Buy

$1,474* at JM Bullion

$1,484* at Money Metals

*at time of reviewing

Perth Mint 1 Ounce Gold Bar

Perth Mint 1oz Gold Bar

A well-known Western Australia mint with low premiums over spot for bullion bars offers the best choice for gold.

Where to Buy

$2,038* at Money Metals

$2,058* at JM Bullion

*at time of reviewing

American Eagle Gold Coin

American Gold Eagle Coin

Skip the numismatics and get the best value with mass production recognition across the globe.

Where to Buy

$2,100* at Money Metals

$2,128* at JM Bullion

$2,644* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Gold Bullion We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to several types of gold bullion that we compared: coins, bars, rounds, and blocks. All from various mints and sold through various vendors.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a huge range of gold but quickly narrowed it down to practical solutions. Numismatic coins were ruled out although they can be good investments over time. Despite that, their numismatic value won’t necessarily be recognized as easily as bullion spot value in survival situations and emergencies.

We’re always looking for new and better stuff, so if you have a gold bullion preference that you swear by, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested stuff annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best gold for preppers has several important features to look for:

  1. Spot Premium
  2. Denomination
  3. Versatility
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Recognition

When you get the right blend of these, you can find gold bullion that isn’t just for investment. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the gold types that truly set themselves apart in survival situations.

Spot Premium

The ‘premium over spot’ is what you are paying over the going rate of gold per ounce for a specific coin, bar, etc. This premium is usually higher for lower denominations (1 ounce) and lower for higher denominations (1,000-ounce bars). It only applies to gold with a high purity rating, which is what we focused on for this review due to its recognition.

Besides type and denomination, some bullion holds value for other reasons, like scarcity (old collectible coins). When these are valuable, they are graded and known as ‘numismatic coins’. They cost significantly more than spot value but can also hold/increase in value during relatively stable economic conditions. They aren’t that great for survival and prepping, but we’ll cover that when we get to versatility.


The denomination of your bullion (usually measured in grams or ounces), is important because it directly ties into its expected value. This makes the denomination important to consider, the same way you consider what specific bills to carry when you want to have cash on hand. You don’t want to be stuck with 100-dollar bills if you are buying something that is only $1, so you want a good mix of bullion denominations and value for the same reason.


Our top pick has the versatility of being able to break up into precise denominations while still being solid for easy carrying until then.

Some bullion can be hidden (through its shape or container), used as an improvised weapon, or even loaded into a gun. There are many creative ways to use gold every day, and we focus on a few of the survival applications below.

Size & Weight

If you are bugging out of your home you won’t want a wheelbarrow to be able to move your bullion. If your size and weight of gold start getting unreasonable, you may want to step up to gold.


In a survival situation, you don’t want to spend too much time figuring out or convincing others that bullion is real.

Using a recognizable mint with clear purity stamps is usually a good way to go.

How to Use Gold for Survival

The most obvious use for gold in a survival situation is as currency or barter. Gold coins and bullion have held value over the years through the rise and fall of many national currencies. Gold isn’t a foolproof currency, but it does have millennia of proven universal value to prop it up.

Many preppers simply diversify their investment strategy using gold. Prepper financial planning isn’t necessarily conservative- it’s diverse. Most preppers don’t go all-in on any single type of currency but choose to dabble in everything so that in the event of a collapse they won’t be left with nothing.

Financial Planning for Prepping and Survival
Caches are often used to spread out tools (and currencies).

Who Needs Gold?

Bullion of every type isn’t a necessity for anyone. It does have its uses when it comes to investment and survival, but we don’t see it as an absolutely essential piece of any kit or plan.

For that reason, we merely suggest you consider adding gold to these kits:

Even if you aren’t interested in prepping (but you should be: here’s why you need to prepare), gold can be a great hedge against inflation and moderately stable investment.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the research we do to determine the best gold for survival are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our practical survival and financial experience:

Godasgar, V., et al. (2013). The mechanisms of the bullion markets and the return of gold (and silver) as money. 7th International Conference on e-Commerce in Developing Countries. (Source)

Quinn, S. (1996). Gold, Silver, and the Glorious Revolution: Arbitrage between Bills of Exchange and Bullion. The Economic History Review. Volume 49. Issue 3. Pages 473-490. (Source)

Temple, R. (1899). Beginnings of Currency. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Volume 29. Issue 1/2. Pages 99-122. (Source)

The Final Word

The ‘gold standard’ of bullion investing is gold, of course. It doesn’t cost much to get started with tangible assets that have been recognized value since close to the dawn of humanity. Be smart when you shop by remembering the importance of mixed denominations, bullion over numismatic value, and mixing bullion types down the road.

Here are a few other guides and reviews our subscribers have found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and experience found the Gold CombiBar to be the best option given its spot premium, denomination, versatility, size/weight, and recognition.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Gold for Preppers

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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